Probate and Estate Administration is a court-managed process where the assets of the decedent are managed and distributed according to the decedent’s Will (testate) or according to Florida law (intestate). This process entails marshaling all of the probate assets of the decedent and paying the decedent’s valid debts.
Florida probate proceedings are required when a decedent was a Florida resident owning assets in Florida, or when the decedent was not a Florida resident, but assets owned by the decedent, such as real estate, are situated in Florida. Florida probate proceedings can be administered through either a formal administration process or a summary administration process. Summary administration is allowed where the assets of the deceased are less significant and less complex, or when more than 2 years has passed since the decedent’s death.
Only assets that were titled in the decedent’s sole name at the time of death are subject to probate proceedings. If the asset was jointly owned or contained a valid Transfer on Death beneficiary designation, then the asset is not subject to probate proceedings.